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Duck, Duck, Goose

PILOTS, air traffic controllers, and travelers can breathe a little easier now. It looks like 100 million mallards, mergansers, canvassbacks, and Canada geese have almost finished winging their way south.

This is not some quack editorial. The duck migration that peaked late last week was so gigantic that it overwhelmed radars and temporarily closed airports in Kansas City, Mo., Des Moines, and Omaha, Neb., and delayed some human flights.

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No gaggle rule here. First, a good breeding year resulted in millions of little webbed feet pitter-pattering around the Canadian prairie. Then the sudden arrival of Old Man Winter sent the largest waterfowl migration since the 1970s to the warmer climes of south Texas and Mexico.

As the first snows appear in the mountains, and chill winds blow down our spines, the thought of heading south isn't such a daffy idea. But we're still up in the air about when to go.

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